RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The owner of a Richmond animal boarding facility is speaking out in his defense, after police raided his business.
Pet owners were told to come pick up their animals from the Animal Motel on Lombardy Street near Virginia Union University Friday afternoon. Now, authorities say multiple neglect charges are pending against the owner.
The owner, Joseph Meyers, says he hasn't gotten sleep in days. Authorities say some of the animals here haven't received adequate attention in days.
"We're removing every animal that's on the premises," said Christie Chipps Peters of Richmond Animal Care and Control.
As officers were rescuing dogs from the Animal Motel, pet owners arrived in a frenzy.
"He's been here for about a month. He's been getting trained due to his behavior," one owner said about his dog.
Officers say Meyers has been neglecting animals at the shop, where he houses some 20 dogs.
"It's really gross," Chipps Peters added.
She points to allegations of animals housed in their own waste, and no electricity at the shop for four months.
"Are you fit to run a center like this?" NBC12 asked Meyers.
"Oh yeah," he responded.
He says he got behind on paying bills and has been operating the place with a generator, keeping the animals warm with a kerosene heater during the recent winter weather.
As for the neglect allegations:
"The dogs are getting fed…Sometimes they get Giaradi. Sometimes they get intestinal worms. Sometimes they eat their own crap, and it so happens they get skinny. You can feed them all day long, and it goes right through them," Meyers responded.
Cherri Day is a former customer of Meyers.
"My dog died here last year…My husband brought her to get a bath, and he stayed in the lobby waiting on her and [Meyers] came out and told [my husband] she had died," said Day. "We had an autopsy done. She died of possible strangulation and suffocation."
Meyers was found guilty of failing to provide emergency vet care. NBC12 asked him about that case.
"This dog doesn't like water. It doesn't like people apparently. As soon as I tried to put it in the groom room, it tried to attack me," Meyers stated.
"I took the case out on him hoping this wouldn't happen to anyone else's baby," Day said.
Authorities are giving Meyers until Saturday to improve conditions inside his business. When asked if he will be re-opening, Meyers said "We'll find out," adding that the new charges will either "make or break me."
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